I lived in Lebanon for eleven years, before the civil war broke out, and I’m profoundly happy to see the Lebanese standing up to face down the goons from the hereditary dictatorship next door.

The Lebanese Flag

Lebanon wasn’t perfect. There was corruption and sectarianism and bigotry and pollution and an extremely dodgy financial sector. But, with all its faults, it was, more or less, democratic and things, more or less, worked. Even some years into the civil war, people came to Beirut from all over the Middle East because there, you could get a printing job or a civil-engineering project or a real-estate financing done.

Not to mention the beautiful cities, the fine food, the mountains smiling down on the sea, the stories of history written everywhere.

Given the general geopolitical landscape, right now it seems like a fair bet that the Syrians may not have the self-confidence to crush the Lebanese independence movement, if it looks like it has popular support and especially if the rest of the world leans down hard. So right now would be a good time for a little public activism; a free-once-again Lebanon would be a step forward for the poor, tired, Middle East.

Free Lebanon demonstration in Ottawa, Canada

Above is an example, a demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. [Photo credit: Paul Denton.]


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February 27, 2005
· The World (115 fragments)
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